One-eyed jacks and deuces are wild! I’m all in!!!

No, not those kinds of wild cards, silly! Wild cards in the Raiser’s Edge are special characters that you can use to replace characters when searching or querying on  information. There are 2 wild cards available when searching and querying:

  • A ? (question mark) replaces one character at a time (Last name Sm?th returns Smith or Smythe)
  • A # (pound/hash tag) replaces a series of characters (Last name Jo*son returns Johnson or Johnston)

Say what? Let’s look at an example from Query. Suppose we want query on ZIP codes that begin with “12”. We could query on:

ZIP Code is like 12???


ZIP Code is like 12*

If my ZIP code is 12345-6789, I will  meet the criteria in either case, right? WRONG! 

In the first case, I would not because my ZIP code is not 5 characters in length. The ? literally replaces one character at a time.

In the 2nd case, I would meet the criteria since my ZIP code begins with 12 and is  followed by a series of any number of characters (or NO characters). See the difference?

In addition, there is a 3rd wild card available in  Query that is not widely known. The [ ] (brackets) can be used in Query to group records based on a range of characters or specific values. I use this alot when I’m cleaning up a database to export smaller groups of records based on Last Names. I can query on Last Name begins with [K-O]. It can also be used with commas to isolate records based on multiple, singular values like Last Name begins with [S,W,T].  This will return a group containing records where the last name begins with S, W, or T.

The first 2 wild cards are widely available on record Search screens; the 3rd is only available in Query. It is also important to note that all not all Query operators will accept wild cards.

Wild cards are available in Query with the following operators:

  • Begins with
  • Contains
  • Does not begin with
  • Like
  • Not like

So, if you want to get wild in the Raiser’s Edge, now you know how 🙂

Keeping you on the Leading Edge,


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